bulk postage fine (was Re: non-censorous spam control)

Kent Crispin kent at songbird.com
Tue Aug 5 16:43:46 PDT 1997

On Tue, Aug 05, 1997 at 10:28:02AM -0700, stewarts at ix.netcom.com wrote:
> >Kent Crispin <kent at songbird.com> writes:
> >> In more general terms: A "free market" fundamentally grants more
> >> control to those with more money.  Postage of whatever variety turns
> >> the medium over to those with more money.  That would, in my opinion, 
> >> fundamentally alter the character of email in a strongly negative 
> >> direction. 
> More to the point, if you're charging prices that don't reflect the
> true costs of the activities, it'll catch up with you after a while;

I am, of course, familiar with this line of reasoning :-).  

However, it is arguably the case that the true cost of email *is*
being paid.  The real problem is that email is unbelievably cheap, for
both recipient and sender -- a sender can send more mail than anyone
can read at a very low cost, and a recipient can easily receive more
mail than they can possibly read, again for a very low cost.  


> The present situation is that the social dynamics and economics are such
> that Tacky People can make money by being rude to everyone without being 
> interesting in return.  While trying to charge money for communications
> may work, I'm inclined to doubt it; the more interesting currency to
> try to model is Reputation, which leads to more like an Ender's Game
> kind of net, or to semi-closed communities like the Well (is?was?).

Yes, virtual cryptographically closed communities.  A concept whose
time has come, perhaps. 

Kent Crispin				"No reason to get excited",
kent at songbird.com			the thief he kindly spoke...
PGP fingerprint:   B1 8B 72 ED 55 21 5E 44  61 F4 58 0F 72 10 65 55

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